I have been thinking about freedom lately. When we are free, we grow. We learn. We enjoy life. We prosper. I've got the Rascal's song in my head. People everywhere just wanna be free! It's something that humans have in common with all living things. It's one of the things that makes the world go round.
So, I have a three-year-old and a four-year-old. What does freedom look like in our house?
Um, a little messy.
As I try to find a balance between housekeeping and giving my children the freedom that they crave to learn and grow, the learning and the growing almost always seem to win out. As a result, I have a very messy house and very independent learners.
As I scroll through Instagram photos of play based learning in charming French villas with children in their neutral toned organic cotton jumpers playing with wooden open ended toys, I smile. That's nice. They have white wooden lego free floors and I have how-long-has-it-been-sticky-here floors. Maybe I am a special needs mom who just can't quite get it together. Or maybe I'm just a mom who adores seeing her kids joyful laughter as they get their hands dirty, problem solve, explore the world, and develop life skills. I get a real kick out of seeing this growth. I feel the stickiness of the floor beneath my feet but I can't be bothered to wipe it up right now, because my kids are learning and I've got to snap a picture of it. I've got to bear witness to the amazing learning that is taking place before my very eyes.
A child's project might look like a total mess to adults, but to them it is a masterpiece. If we, as their parents and teachers, value their work, we are teaching them that their opinions matter. Their ideas are good. They are capable of solving whatever problem that this world throws at them. And this, my friends, is a "change the world" kind of mindset.
Do you ever struggle between keeping your house safe and clean and letting your children be free?